Top of the Volcano: the Award-Winning Stories of Harlan Ellison

Top of the Volcano: the Award-Winning Stories of Harlan Ellison

Illustration By Michael Whelan

Dust jacket illustration by Michael Whelan

We're pleased to announce a volume that may well be considered The Best of Harlan Ellison, which will be printed as an oversize 7*10 inch volume.

Firebrand, Touchstone, Trailblazer, Risk-Taker!

“Only connect,” E.M. Forster famously said, and Harlan Ellison was canny enough to make that the lifeblood of his achievement from the get-go.

New, fresh and different is tricky in the storytelling business, as rare as diamonds, but, as a born storyteller, Harlan made story brave, daring, surprising again, brought an edge of the gritty and the strange, the erudite and the street-smart, found ways to make words truly come alive again in an over-worded world.

From the watershed of the ’50s and ’60s when the world found its dynamic new identity, to a self-imitating, sadly all too derivative present, he has kept storytelling cool and hip, exhilarating, unexpected yet always vital, able to get under your skin and change your life.

And now we have it. The Top of the Volcano is the collection we hoped would come along eventually, twenty-three of Harlan’s very best stories, award-winners every one, brought together in a single volume at last. There’s the unforgettable power of “'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman,” “The Whimper of Whipped Dogs” and “Mefisto in Onyx,” the heart-rending pathos of “Jeffty Is Five” and “Paladin of the Lost Hour”, the chilling terror of “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream,” the ingenuity and startling intimacy of “Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans…”

These stories are full of the light and life of someone with things worth saying and the skills to do it, presented in the book we had to have—not just a Best-of (though given what’s on offer it may just fall out that way) but in one easy-to-grab volume perfect for newbies, long-time fans and seasoned professionals alike to remind them just how it can be done.

Lettered: 52 signed copies, bound in leather, housed in a custom traycase
Limited: 250 signed numbered copies, housed in a custom slipcase
Trade: Fully cloth bound hardcover edition

From Publishers Weekly:

“Ellison (Slippage) has won so many awards over his six-decade career that this hefty collection only includes the short stories that have won the most prestigious prizes. His greatest hits include ‘I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream’ (1967), with its viciously omnipotent computer, and ‘The Deathbird’ (1973), a riff on the book of Genesis in sympathy with the snake. His iconoclastic early period is represented by experimental pieces such as ‘The Region Between’ (1969), which includes abstract graphics with its text. But the pleasant surprises are later, more obscure works, such as ‘The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore’ (1991), in which a higher intelligence arbitrarily meddles with the world.”

From Locus:

The Top of the Volcano may be the single most useful Ellison collection to date, for a couple of reasons. One is that by confining the selection to stories that actually won awards, it represents the fiction for which Ellison has been honored by the community over the years… Another is that it offers a clear portrait of the fiction rather than the man, which has always been a difficult distinction for many readers…”

From The Chicago Tribune:

“This may be the most useful book we have for those who want to rediscover Ellison, or for those encountering him for the first time and who want to know what all the fuss was about. “

Table of Contents:

  • ‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman
  • I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream
  • The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World
  • A Boy and His Dog
  • The Region Between
  • Basilisk
  • The Deathbird
  • The Whimper of Whipped Dogs
  • Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans: Latitude 38° 54’ N, Longitude 77° 00’ 13” W 225
  • Croatoan
  • Jeffty is Five
  • Count the Clock That Tells the Time
  • Djinn, No Chaser
  • Paladin of the Lost Hour
  • With Virgil Oddum at the East Pole
  • Soft Monkey
  • Eidolons
  • The Function of Dream Sleep
  • The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore
  • Mefisto in Onyx
  • Chatting with Anubis
  • The Human Operators with A.E. Van Vogt
  • How Interesting: A Tiny Man
Michael Whelan
Harlan Ellison
536 pages
United States
Out of Print